All hail the awesome avocado – key
ingredient of the greatest dip/side
dish/condiment on earth, guacamole
(see Helen’s recipe at the bottom of
this fact sheet)! Apart from being
amazingly tasty, avocados are darned
good for us – high in vitamin C, chock
full of anti-oxidants, great for our skin
and a good source of beneficial mono-
unsaturated fats. Oh, and for the
blokes, they are a great liver cleanser
and may also help prevent hair lose
due to their high content of folic acid.
Is there anything this fab fruit can’t
Generally regarded as a fruit of more tropical climes, many varieties of avo will do just fine in the
southern states, given the soil and drainage is just right. You see, as fantastic as avocados are, they
can also be a bit fussy, but with a bit of love and attention they will fruit just fine in the southern
states. Avocados despise “wet feet”, so improve drainage of your heavy clay soil with gypsum and
compost well before planting, and consider planting your avo’s on a slope, or a mound. Soil wise, a
slightly acid to neutral pH is fine, so aim for about 5.5 – 7 for best results.
Choose a warm, frost-free position for these tasty trees, remembering that many avocados can reach
a height of 5 – 10m at maturity, so leave room for these gorgeous trees. Over the hot summers
across much of this country, you may find your avocado looking a bit average, especially in its first
few years. Avocados’ aren’t know for their vigourous root systems, and this can cause them to dry
out much quicker than many other plants, so keep the water up to them when it’s really hot (in
accordance with local water restrictions of course).
The other thing to remember about avocados is that each variety has a different flowering “habit”,
which sees avo’s categorized into two groups, A and B. Now, avocados are partially self-fertile,
which means they may produce a bit of fruit on their own, but their yields will be increased if you
can whack in one tree of each group. Avocados ripen once harvested, and, dependant on variety,
this can take about a week to 10 days.
A word of warning regarding all avocado types – all parts of the plant are highly poisonous
to dogs, so protect your pooch!
Avocado – Bacon (B Flowering Variety): The best cold tolerant avocado, Bacon will grow to a
manageable height of 4m in cooler climes. Fruit is a medium size and quality and appears on the
tree from June – late July, and, unlike most other avocados, will fall from the tree when ripe. Can
bear fruit in as little as 4 years.
Avocado – Edranol (B Flowering Variety): An extremely tasty avocado, Edranol is popular in
large scale avocado production, especially in South Africa. Edranol loves a slightly sandy, well-
drained soil, and will go gang-busters in a coastal location as nit prefers a warmer locale. Expect a
medium sized fruit with a darkish skin and butter yellow flesh.
Avocado – Fuerte (B Flowering Variety): Another great cold tolerant variety, Fuerte produces
small, pear shaped fruits with a dark green skin and a fabulous nutty flavour. Fuerte can be quite a
large, spreading tree reaching a decent height of about 8m x 12m, so give it some space. Fuerte has
a tendency to produce fruit every second year (between June and October), and can take about 6
years to produce fruit.
Avocado – Hass (A Flowering Variety):Possibly the most popular of all avocados, Hass bears
incredibly flavoursome fruits that keep well. A handsome tree to about 9m x 10m, Hass is fairly cold
and frost tolerant once established, and will bear its delicious fruit between September and January.
Avocado – Pinkerton (A Flowering Variety): If you just can’t get enough avocados, perhaps
consider growing a Pinkerton! This variety is a massive cropper, meaning you can have gallons of
guacamole from this flavourful, medium sized fruit. May be cold tolerant once established,
Pinkerton will bear fruit from June – August.
Avocado – Reed (A Flowering Variety):Large, round, thick skinned variety with a smooth, green
skin and a rich flavour. Reed avocados store well in the fridge once cut. This variety grows to a
manageable 4m x 2m, and will bear fruit after 3 years or so. Fruit matures between November and
Avocado – Rincon (A Flowering Variety): A small to medium fruit with a glossy green skin,
Rincon is an avocado variety better suited to coastal sites and warmer spots in the garden. Rincon is
not a fan of frosts, and won’t tolerate extended periods of cold weather. As a tree, Rincon is a beaut
size, about 4m x 3m, and bears fruit between July – September.
Avocado – Sharwill (B Flowering Variety): Sharwill is a NSW & QLD fave, with good reason. This
awesome Avo is a regular bearer of good quality, very tasty fruit with a decent oil content, small
stone and fair storing ability. Sharwill is not real frost tolerant, and will bear its glossy green, pear
shaped fruit between June – August.
Avocado – Wurtz (A Flowering Variety): A gorgeous small tree for gardens, Wurtz is a popular
variety if avocado, prized for its rich, flavoursome fruit. A good performer in warmer climates,
Wurtz is a dwarf-like tree growing only to 2.5-3m, yet produces a consistent, heavy crop of beaut
fruit! Expect fruit from October – December.
Helen’s Rockin’ Guacamole Recipe
2 Avocados Mashed
1 Roma Tomato Diced
1 Eschalot Diced
2 tsp Lime Juice
2 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Dried Thyme
1 tsp Salt (or to taste)
1 tsp Ground or Cracked Pepper (or to taste)
1 tsp Tabasco Sauce
Mix it all together… you might not need to add all of the eschalot depending on how big the
avocados are. If you are using this as a spread or similar on toast, you may want to add a bit of
mayo as well. Enjoy!